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n e w s l e t t e r vintage 2019 / issue 01


Inside this

ISSUE 3 A Note From Hans Nef 4 Featured Wine 5 New Release 6 Behind the Vine 8 From the Cellar 10 Featured Recipe 11 Happenings


DEAR FRIENDS, Earlier this spring, we officially christened our new winery facility adjacent to our estate Huerhuero Vineyard. It was one of my proudest moments, a dream that has been more than 20 years in the making. We held a ribbon cutting with local luminaries, but it is what happened next that really moved me. Indeed, the following day, 500 Vina Robles Signature Club members came to celebrate with us at a special grand opening party. I will never forget it. We planted our first vineyard in Paso Robles in 1997. Rome was not built in a day—and neither was Vina Robles. Thanks to all of you for being a part of our journey. Best regards,

Hans Nef



Featured Wine


2018 ROSÉ

HUERHUERO VINEYARD, PASO ROBLES Our 2018 Rosé has been released just in time for spring and summer enjoyment. Modeled after the famed dry rosés of southern France, the 2018 vintage is a blend of Syrah (68%), Grenache (27%) and Viognier (5%) from our estate Huerhuero Vineyard. Upon harvesting, the grapes were gently crushed and the juice was cold soaked on the skins for two hours to allow for a judicious uptake of color, flavor and aroma. The individual lots were aged for five months in stainless steel tanks prior to final blending. The inclusion of the white Viognier grape is a technique from the Rhône Valley that adds lift and complexity to the aroma profile.

TASTING NOTES The 2018 Rosé opens with fragrant aromas of lime zest, pomegranate and orange blossom. A clean, quenching texture unfolds with flavors of stone fruit, red cherry and tangerine with a touch of minerality. Mouthwatering acidity adds energy to a lively, refreshing finish.

PAIRING RECOMMENDATIONS This wine is a perfect match for summer salads, crab cakes, grilled fish, lightly spiced dishes, and the bruschetta recipe featured later in this newsletter.


As the heritage grape of Paso Robles dating back to the 19th century, Zinfandel is a perfect fit for our family of wines. The 2016 vintage comes from our estate Pleasant Valley Vineyard as well as a small block of head-pruned vines at our Hospitality Center. The individual lots were aged for 20 months in French and American oak barrels prior to final blending. A small lot of Petite Sirah (10%) from Jardine Vineyard was incorporated for added mouthfeel. The 2016 Zinfandel exhibits the rich berry fruit of a classic Paso Robles Zinfandel. Aromas of cherry, boysenberry and vanilla anticipate a soft, creamy texture with juicy flavors of raspberry, cedar and mocha.


20 MONTHS IN OAK BARRELS 06.21.18 04.15.19 15.0%


New Release


Behind the Vine with Viticulturist Sukhy Sran CRESTON VALLEY VINEYARD The diversity of Paso Robles is instrumental to the wines of Vina Robles. Long before our region was officially recognized in 2014 for having 11 distinct American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), we planted vineyards across the region to take advantage of the unique conditions in different areas. One of these areas is the Creston District, which is home to our estate Creston Valley Vineyard. The Creston District is located in the mid-southeast portion of Paso Robles. The terrain is marked by rolling hills with deceptively high elevations—you do not necessarily feel like you are high up until you see the elevated views from the hilltops. The soils in the Creston District are dry and calcareous. The temperatures are steady and moderated throughout the growing season. While other areas of Paso Robles experience cold spring temperatures or heat spikes during the summer, the Creston District is more mild from start to finish. Marine air that flows through the Templeton Gap—a notch in the coastal mountains—tails into the Creston District. Without that, conditions would be much warmer. At Vina Robles, we have learned a lot from growing grapes in Paso Robles over the past 20 years. We have applied that knowledge to our newer blocks at Creston Valley Vineyard—from rootstock and clonal selections to trellising and pruning techniques. The results have been spectacular, particularly with Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Not surprisingly, Creston Valley Vineyard is playing an increasing role in our wines, either as a complement to fruit from other areas, or as a single-vineyard wine such as the 2015 Petite Sirah, Creston Valley Vineyard in our Limited Estate Collection. We are excited about what the future holds in the Creston District.



From the Cellar with Winemaker Kevin Willenborg A BOUNTY OF BARREL ROOMS The beauty of building a new winery facility from the ground up is that you get to take advantage of new technologies—even when it comes to something as Old World as wine barrels. Indeed, this is exactly what Winemaker Kevin Willenborg is doing at our new winery, which is outfitted with no less than three main barrel rooms as well as one smaller reserve barrel room. This setup—along with high-tech temperature and humidity controls—allows Kevin to provide perfect conditions for each stage of the maturation and aging process. “In most wineries, you just have one big barrel room,” he says. “We wanted to be able to fine tune our aging conditions like never before.” For example, as of this writing, Barrel Room 1 is filled with 2018 red wines at a temperature of 55 degrees—the sweet spot for extended aging. Meanwhile, Barrel

THE BEAUTY OF BUILDING A NEW WINERY FACILITY FROM THE GROUND UP IS THAT YOU GET TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES Room 2 holds 2018 wines that are still completing secondary malolactic fermentation, which is helped along by keeping the temperature at a warmer 65 degrees. Lastly, Barrel Room 3 is where the 2017 red wines are finishing the aging process prior to bottling this summer. Come harvest time, Kevin will change everything up. In fact, there will be periods when he cranks up one of the rooms to 80 degrees. “We call it the sauna,” he says. “It’s a technique that binds color and tannins to create a fuller mouthfeel in our red wines right after fermentation and racking.” Humidity is another crucial contributor to the process of barrel maturation. Believe


it or not, wine can evaporate through the pores of oak barrels. When a humidity of 75 to 80 percent is maintained in the barrel rooms, it tightens the wood and minimizes evaporative loss. The effect is subtle yet powerful. Consider that we installed a pair of large wooden doors at the entry of one of our barrel rooms—and we had to re-plane them later because they plumped up after exposure to the elevated humidity! The ability to tailor storage conditions to the needs of each barrel lot ultimately adds up to incremental gains in quality. In Kevin’s words, “It is a luxury that is helping us make even better wines.”


Featured Recipe BRUSCHETTA WITH PROSCIUTTO, RICOTTA AND ARUGULA Enjoy with the new release Vina Robles 2018 RosĂŠ

INGREDIENTS: 15 1/2-inch slices from a baguette, cut on the diagonal Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing 1 whole clove garlic, peeled, halved 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese 15 arugula leaves 4 ounces prosciutto or other salty, cured pork such as coppa, lomo or speck Best quality extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

DIRECTIONS: 1. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Place the bread on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Grill the bread until golden all over, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Rub one side of each with the garlic clove. 2. Spread a tablespoon or two of the ricotta on each bread slice, then press an arugula leaf into the cheese. Place a slice of the prosciutto on top, drizzle with the best quality olive oil, and serve. *Recipe courtesy of The Food Network


Happenings A SENSATIONAL SUMMER CONCERT SEASON The summer of 2019 ushers in the most exciting concert season to date at our Vina Robles Amphitheatre. The headliners include country music star Kacey Musgraves as well as contemporary pop sensation Sara Bareilles. Fans of classic artists will also be amply entertained with the likes of The Steve Miller Band, ZZ Top, Chicago and Peter Frampton. The Gipsy Kings, Counting Crows and others add to this dynamic roster of talent. For the complete schedule, visit

CABERNET EARNS RAVES FROM WINE ENTHUSIAST We are pleased to share that Wine Enthusiast magazine recently awarded our 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon with a rating of 92 points and a designation of Editors’ Choice. Reviewer Matt Kettmann hailed the wine’s “concentrated flavors of black cherry, caramel, cocoa and coffee.” He concluded, “This bottling exhibits the richness that’s made Paso Robles famous, yet at a price point that’s great for frequent indulgence.”


ABOUT VINA ROBLES Growers and makers of expressive, approachable estate wines from Paso Robles, California, Vina Robles owns and farms six estate SIPÂŽ Certified Sustainable vineyards in five sub-districts in the region. First class hospitality service is offered by way of unique, memorable experiences with wine, food and music at their core. The vineyards & winery are owned and managed by two Swiss families who have been farming winegrapes in Paso Robles for more than 20 years.

P.O. Box 699 Paso Robles, CA 93447 805-227-4812

Profile for Vina Robles, Inc.

Vina Robles 2019 Newsletter | Issue 01  

Earlier this spring, we officially christened our new winery facility adjacent to our estate Huerhuero Vineyard. It was one of my proudest m...

Vina Robles 2019 Newsletter | Issue 01  

Earlier this spring, we officially christened our new winery facility adjacent to our estate Huerhuero Vineyard. It was one of my proudest m...